From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Zathura book cover.jpg
AuthorChris Van Allsburg
IllustratorChris Van Allsburg
Cover artistChris Van Allsburg
CountryUnited States
GenreChildren's literature, science fiction
Published2002 (Houghton Mifflin)
LC ClassPZ7.V266 Zat 2002
Preceded byBad Day at Riverbend 
Followed byProbuditi! 

Zathura is an illustrated children's book by the American author Chris Van Allsburg. In the story, two boys are drawn into an intergalactic adventure when their house is magically hurled through space. The book is a sequel to Jumanji, another illustrated book by Van Allsburg, and visual and textual references are made to Jumanji in the story. The book was adapted into a film, titled Zathura: A Space Adventure, in 2005.


Zathura starts from the end of the book Jumanji, as the parents of two brothers, Danny and Walter Budwing, are leaving. The two brothers don't get along with each other. Danny wants to play catch, while Walter wants to watch television. Danny tosses Walter a baseball which hits him on the head. Walter then chases Danny through the house and catches him in the park across the street from their house, where they find a board game named Jumanji. Danny brings the game home, where he then loses interest in playing it.

Underneath the Jumanji board, Danny finds another game called Zathura: A Space Adventure. Danny starts playing Zathura, then he gets a card that says, "Meteor shower, take evasive action." Immediately, a meteor shower occurs. Danny and Walter soon realize the game sent them into outer space. The brothers start playing the game Zathura, since the game won't take them home unless they finish it. Soon, Walter loses his gravity and Danny saves him from disappearing into space.

When Walter takes his turn, a defective robot chases him through the house. When Danny takes his turn, he gets close to a planet called Tsouris 3 and gets shorter and wider. Soon, a Zorgon ship appears and Zorgons board their house. The robot chases the Zorgons away as Walter takes his turn and gets sucked into a black hole and is sent back in time. Walter transports back to when he was with Danny in the park. Danny finds Jumanji and is about to take it home, but Walter throws it out and instead offers to play catch with Danny.


Publishers Weekly said the book was a "satisfying enigma" like its predecessor.[1] Booklist said readers of Jumanji would also like Zathura.[2] Alternatively, The Horn Book Magazine said the book did not work as a sequel to Jumanji but worked as part of a series.[3]

Film adaptation[edit]

A film adaptation of the book titled Zathura: A Space Adventure was made in 2005. Despite being a box office bomb, it garnered a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes and received positive reviews.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Zathura: A Space Adventure. (Picture Books)". Publishers Weekly. Vol. 249 no. 25. 24 June 2002. p. 54. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  2. ^ Engberg, Gillian (15 November 2002). "Van Allsburg, Chris. Zathura". Booklist. Vol. 99 no. 6. p. 603.
  3. ^ Carter, Betty (November–December 2002). "Chris Van Allsburg Zathura: a Space Adventure". The Horn Book Magazine. Vol. 78 no. 6. p. 741+.
  4. ^ "Zathura (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 21, 2016.

External links[edit]